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Lucy Liu Says She Doesn't Regret Standing Up For Herself In Clash With Bill Murray On 'Charlie's Angels' Set

Jul. 28 2021, Published 10:47 a.m. ET

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Two decades after a spat with Bill Murray on the set of Charlie's Angels in 2000, Lucy Liu is sharing her side of the story.

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The 52-year-old opened up on the Los Angeles Times podcast "Asian Enough" which is hosted by Johana Bhuiyan, Tracy Brown, Suhauna Hussain and Jen Yamato, per Deadline.

According to the Elementary star, the altercation came about during rehearsals of a scene that had been reworked without Murray's knowledge, as he had missed the change due to attending a family gathering, Liu explained.

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lucy liu she doesnt regret standing up for herself clash with bill murray charlies angels
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"I wish I had more to do with [the rewrite], but I didn’t," Liu said. "Because I was the last one cast, and I probably had the least amount of privilege, in terms of creatively participating at that time."

Liu did not go into detail about what Murray allegedly said but agreed with reports that he had started "to sort of hurl insults" at her after learning about the change.

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"I was, like, 'Wow, he seems like he’s looking straight at me.' I couldn’t believe that [his comments] could be towards me, because what do I have to do with anything majorly important at that time? I say, 'I’m so sorry. Are you talking to me?'—and clearly he was, because then it started to become a one-on-one communication," she explained.

Liu decided to speak up because she felt the comedian's language "was inexcusable and unacceptable."

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"I stood up for myself, and I don’t regret it," Liu said. "Because no matter how low on the totem pole you may be or wherever you came from, there’s no need to condescend or to put other people down."

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Liu tied the incident back to a time in her childhood when her mother, who is an immigrant, was talked down to by a "condescending" salesperson and while she wasn't sure her response was linked she didn't "want to be that person that is not going to speak up for myself and stand by the only thing that I have which is my dignity and self-respect."

However, she felt that the media coverage of the spat at the time "automatically thought that the woman was the difficult one. But I didn’t understand how it got flipped when I had nothing to do with instigating it, or creating that platform of confrontation or anxiety."

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There were still people on Liu's side. "I remember years later, maybe even decades later, some crew members that I didn’t even know at the time came up to me on other sets and told me that they were there at the time and they were really grateful that I did that," Liu said.

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Despite their differences, Liu and Murray did reconcile and she said she has nothing against him. "I’ve seen him since then at an SNL reunion, and he came up to me and was perfectly nice," she revealed. "But I’m not going to sit there and be attacked."

Meanwhile, Murray told The Times of London in 2009 that he "will dismiss you completely if you are unprofessional and working with me. When our relationship is professional, and you’re not getting that done, forget it."

In the same interview, Liu also said that people told her to pick another career because she's Asian but said when you "move the needle, or you do interact with the people and the career that you want to go towards, you are going to be the first to get cut by the thorns and the bushes. You will also, therefore, be standing in front of the spotlight to be criticized and to be somewhat crucified. And you have to be OK with that," of the progress made for Asian-Americans in film.

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